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  • Sharpening wood chisels

    I got a set of economy class wood chisels that I use for rough framing and when they get dull I "sharpen" them with 220 then 400 grit sandpaper. These chisels are over 30 years old and over time they are no longer are flat so I need to bring them back on track. I use these chisel for cleaning up mortiseses, trimming pegs, cleaning up notches.

    Everytime I go to find a chisel sharpening kit I end up getting lost with all the different products and systems available. I'm looking for a trade proven system and I'm wondering what you guys recomend.
    Last edited by Mightyservant; 05-14-2018, 01:10 PM.

  • #2
    I use the Robert Larson 800-1800 Honing Guide, https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Larson...l+honing+guide . Chisels are not an everyday tool for me when a project comes up where I need to use one I've found that this guide works well for me. Pretty sure that I've been using it for 7 or 8 years.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

    Comment


    • Mightyservant
      Mightyservant commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks BadgerDave, I've got it in my basket. For that price I'll give it a shot !

  • #3
    I thought you fitters use screwdrivers as chisels. In fact DeWalt makes a screwdriver designed for hammering.

    My wood chisels stay out of the truck and at the shop along with my wood turning chisels. My truck chisels are typically cold chisels. That I hand grind.

    When the electricians are not looking, they have good screwdrivers.

    Rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • Mightyservant
      Mightyservant commented
      Editing a comment
      Believe or not I don't, most of us in the shop have several cold chisels small and large that we can sharpen up with the cordless grinder. Same with digging bars.

      The truck doesn't have a wood chisel but it does have a cats paw and a pry bar. We often use a hole saw to hog out holes that are a little off.

      I use an Enders 4 in 1 screwdriver most of the time, I found out they don't work to well as chisels.

  • #4
    I have the Verritas MKII Power Sharpening system. Very fast and no mess with water etc. But a lot more $ than BadgerDave's link.

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=48435

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    • Mightyservant
      Mightyservant commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice rig but a bit to much for my economy chisels and everyday work. I don't really have to sharpen them all the time in fact I might have "sharpened" these chisels A dozen times. These chisels end up in my tools bags along with screws and nails and debris when I'm on a wood job or at home doing repairs. If I had better chisels and built furniture I think a rig like that would be a good fit. Thank you for the input!

  • #5
    I have the Veritas Honing Guide that I purchased from Lee-Valley (http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...72,43078,51868) several years ago. Does a great job, but it's labor-intensive and isn't going to work all that well if you chisels are really out of shape. Great for touching up though.

    I also have a Grizzly 10" wet grinder, which is similar (but not the quaity) of a Tormek T8 (https://www.amazon.com/Tormek-Cooled...ormek+t8&psc=1), but at a fraction of that $700 plus price: http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-W...tion/T10010ANV

    First you're going to have to get the bevel straightened up and the blade squared away. Lee-Valley offers some good tools, like angle gauges, guides, etc.

    You could straighten up your chisels on a belt sander, but you've got to be careful to not overheat them and loose their temper.

    CWS

    Comment


    • Mightyservant
      Mightyservant commented
      Editing a comment
      You've got to hand to to veritas, they've great products. That tormek unit is afully expensive which I'm sure is worth every penny, the grizzly is very affordable though I wonder how durable I would be. Still I think something I can put in a drawer is better suited for me since space is also a consideration. Thank you for your input!

  • #6
    A belt sander is a good way to get a rough sharpening/reshape, then on a oil or water stone, and then finish it up on a buffing wheel with a buffing compound,
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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    • Mightyservant
      Mightyservant commented
      Editing a comment
      10-4, they aren't too too bad, but I do need get bring them back before it turns into a project. Thanks for your input.

  • #7
    I've got a couple of diamond hones which I use for the kitchen knives and really just use sandpaper when I occasionally have to sharpen chisels. So I went to Rockler (which by the way) is having a one week sale, Lee Valley, Woodcraft and AMZ and stones are anywhere from $40 to $200 and up.

    Norton has a set with combination stones and a flattening stone for around $150 but does one really need all 6 grades? CWS suggestion of the Grizzely unit starts to look like a better option at that point.

    Most of us will likely sharpen an edge before it's too far gone and I'm thinking I really just need a 4000/8000 combination stone and a flattening stone or a marble tile. Thoughts anyone?

    Comment


    • #8
      I use the Worksharp 3000 system for my chisels and plane irons, works very well for anything up to 2" wide and also for turning chisels.
      ethod (look it up on the web or YT, you'll find hours of info) which gives good results and for about as cheap as you could want.
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

      https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

      ----

      Comment


      • #9
        Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
        I use the Worksharp 3000 system for my chisels and plane irons, works very well for anything up to 2" wide and also for turning chisels.
        ethod (look it up on the web or YT, you'll find hours of info) which gives good results and for about as cheap as you could want.
        Yep, I have the WorkSharp 3000 and love it. Once you do the initial sharpening, a quick touchup takes just a couple of minutes. Of course, I got mine in 2009 when Sears had them on sale for $17.99, , can't beat the price.

        Comment


      • #10
        Originally posted by museum_guy View Post
        n

        Yep, I have the WorkSharp 3000 and love it. Once you do the initial sharpening, a quick touchup takes just a couple of minutes. Of course, I got mine in 2009 when Sears had them on sale for $17.99, , can't beat the price.
        Are you familiar with the phrase

        YOU SUCK Nice score!

        I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

        Comment


        • Mightyservant
          Mightyservant commented
          Editing a comment
          Closer to $200, USA made tho

      • #11
        I would like to get a WorkSharp, and I DO remember that ever-so-short "$17.99"... but by the time I read about it they had already corrected their "mistake". Would have been a fantastic deal, glad to know that someone took advantage of it!

        I use a piece of granite tile that was left over from when we tiled the foyer. Using a combination of wet/dry auto-finishing paper taped to the granite and using my Veritas honing guide. It puts a razor edge on the chisels, but it's a lot of work when you first start with a new chisel... I can only imagine how laborious it would be for anything that's lost it's shape.

        I have a water stone, but frankly you've got to be careful how you use it in order to keep it flat. A worn 'valley' in a wet stone is more damaging than not. Likewise with a wetstone on a grinder, you've got to keep that stone perimeter flat and true.

        I haven't got a WorkSharp, but it looks to me like a pretty easy to use sharpening system and it only appears to take a few seconds to keep and edge on the tool. To me, that makes it ideal, because almost anything else (water stone, honing guides, etc. are laborious enough to want most of us to avoid using them until absolutely necessary. The question I have though, is how applicable is a WorkSharp in restoring a chisel that is out of shape?

        CWS

        Comment


        • #12
          I guess if I had more space or made a living as a carpenter a power sharpening system would be the way to go. That Worksharp is pretty sweet, even sweeter at $17.99 (that's so cool).

          I heard you can true up a water stone much better on a very flat surface with a sheet of 800 grit wet or dry silicone carbide grit paper than a trueing stone. I don't mind putting in the time, its sort of therapeutic until my hand starts to cramp up anyway. Wearing a groove is definitely a concern, many tradesmen have well worn pocket stones that I often see used on jobs, sort of makes your wonder. I would imagine you have to dress the stone right after using so it's stays flat.

          Might be time to pick up some newer and better wood chisels while I'm at it.

          Comment


          • #13
            Ok, I was one of the lucky ones that benefited fro Sears mistake and sold the Worksharp 3000 for $17.99. I never would have paid full price. Since I bought it in 2009, I have sharpened quite a lot of chisels and plane irons. I would buy one today at full price, it's that good. Now, before I bought the Worksharp 3000, I used sandpaper and a 12" x 12" x 2" granite slab. I think that I bought it at Woodcraft on sale. It worked great, I highly recommend the sandpaper route for a low cost sharpening system.

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            • #14
              Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post

              Are you familiar with the phrase

              YOU SUCK Nice score!
              I was sooooooooo lucky that day, I won't deny it. I was working in Fort Worth and got up and jumped online on Sunday morning. All of the buzz was Sears selling the Worksharp for $17.99. I went online immediately and ordered 1. As soon as I got the confirmation email, away I went. I wish that I had bought all that they had.

              Comment


              • #15
                Originally posted by Mightyservant View Post

                Might be time to pick up some newer and better wood chisels while I'm at it.
                I've had excellent luck with Lee-Valley, although I'm sure there are many other sources... more sources than really good brand, IMO.

                My first was a 3-chisel set from Sears, not even Craftsman quality as they were the cheaper "Companion" grade. Decent "utility" chisels though, at least back then in the 60's when I didn't need much. Still have them though and they're not in terrible shape and still hold an edge for some time.

                In 2003 I bought a set of four Marples with plastic handles and steel caps. Not bad and they hold an edge well, but soon after I purchased these "Made in Sheffield, England", the company changed and about 2004 or so the same chisels were made in China. They still cost about the same, but I've read a few complaints about the steel. Not sure if it was here or over on the Ridgid forum, but one of the members had a blade that actually cracked.

                Currently my favorite chisels are Narex, which I purchased from Lee-Valley. At first I purchased a set of six mortise chisels and I really like them. Large beechwood handles with steel ferrules and manganese steel blades. Made in the Czech Republic, they are quite nice and hold a fine edge. They're comparatively inexpensive too. Liked them so much that I bought six of their bevel-edge bench chisels a few months later.

                After a few months of use, I decided the quality was excellent and my chisel skill improved so much that I wanted a couple of their skew chisels, but L-V didn't carry them. Looking on the web, I found the company and saw that in fact they did make them, except that the handles were natural finished instead of the Lee-Valley black-stained like my previous purchases. So I wrote Lee-Valley and asked if they could add them to their product line-up. Sure enough, a couple weeks later I got an e-mail telling me that they had procured them and would be adding them to their fall catalog that year. Now I have that those too, for a total of fourteen all told. Nice chisels all the way around.

                Here's a link to the Lee-Valley chisel selection page: http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/pag...?cat=1&p=41504

                BTW, no connection to L-V except that I'm a very happy customer.

                CWS

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